Florida’s hot summers and sandy soils can pose a challenge for some plants, but not this tough plant. Perennial peanut is a versatile groundcover that can be planted statewide and blooms all summer long with cheerful golden flowers.
Perennial peanut, also referred to as the ornamental peanut, fills a unique niche in Florida because there is no other perennial warm-season legume that rivals its forage quality and a broad spectrum of uses. A creeping yellow flowering ground cover, it produces underground nuts like the edible peanut, but they are not as large or plentiful. It has been grown by ranchers for animal feed and been used in groves and vineyards in Central Florida to increase soil nutrition and reduce weeds.
Perennial peanut is frequently used as an ornamental groundcover and during the summer, a thick mat about six inches high out-competes most weeds and undesirable plants and adds a sprinkling of attractive, yellow flowers. In places with winter frosts, the tops get killed to the ground. However, the plants re-emerge the following spring provided the rhizomes are not frozen.
Once established, Perennial peanut offers true drought tolerance, no known pests, no need for supplemental nitrogen or phosphorous fertilizer, and requires very little mowing. The perennial peanut has many uses in the home and commercial landscapes – making an excellent bank or slope cover in full sun or light shade. The landscape texture of the plant is medium, contrasting nicely with fine-textured lawn grasses and can be effectively used to cover either large or small areas.